Let them eat Chocolate cake!!

Not much I can do in the garden with this heat and humidity. I just came in from about an hour of pruning and I was dripping so my thoughts turned to baking. I do love to cook but I am passionate about baking. Once I start I can't stop. At Christmas time I am a cookie making machine, I just can't make enough. And I always think that I haven't made many cookies until I start pulling out all my storage tubs filled with cookies, but that is a later blog.
Right now I want to talk about chocolate cake. I do love to bake a good chocolate cake and the choices are endless. I do have a few favorite recipes that I make over and over.  My favorite birthday cake growing up that my mother always made for me was a Chocolate Coconut Cake. I could never get enough of this cake.That stared my love affair with chocolate cake!  I haven't make this cake in years and I don't remember why I stopped. If you like coconut this is the cake for you.

Birthday Chocolate Coconut Cake
1 egg white                             
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cup sugar
2 cups (7 oz pkg) fine grated coconut
1 Tbs flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
3/4 cup hot coffee
3 eggs, separated
1 tsp soda
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup shortening
1 tsp salt
2 cups flour

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease the bottom of a 10 inch tube pan
Beat egg white with 1 tsp vanilla until soft mounds form. Add 1/2 cup sugar gradually beating until stiff peaks form. Stir in coconut and 1 Tbs flour. Set aside.
Dissolve cocoa in hot coffee.  Beat 3 egg whites until soft mounds form. Add 1/2 cup sugar gradually beating until meringue stands in stiff peaks. Set aside.  Add soda to sour cream. Set aside. In a large bowl beat 1 1/4 cup sugar, shortening, 3 egg yolks, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp vanilla and half of cocoa mixture until light and creamy,  about  4 minutes.  On a low speed stir in 2 cups flour, the sour cream mixture and remaining cocoa/coffee, blend well. Fold in egg whites. Pour 1/3 of chocolate cake batter into prepared tube pan. Place 1/2 coconut mixture on cake batter, then pour 1/2 of the remaining chocolate cake batter over coconut mixture. Continue with the remaining coconut mixture and top with the of the cake batter. Make sure that the cake batter covers all the coconut mixture. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes. Cool completely before removing from pan. Frost top and side with Chocolate Cream Frosting.

Chocolate Fudge  Frosting
1 pkg( 6 oz) Semi Sweet chocolate pieces
1/2 cup light cream
1 cup butter
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cup  powdered sugar.

In a medium sauce pan combine chocolate, cream, butter and stir over medium heat until smooth. Remove from heat.  Put powder sugar in large bowl. Stir in chocolate mixture and vanilla. Beat with a wooden spoon until spreadable. To hasten thickening, put bowl in a pan of ice and water while stirring or refrigerate frosting until  begins to thicken.

This cake might seem to have a lot of steps but if you just take time and follow the steps it is well work the effort! I forgot how good this cake is until I looked again at the recipe. I definitely going to make this cake soon!

My mother calls this cake just a basic Chocolate cake. We've been making this cake in one form or another for more years that I'd like to think about.

Just Chocolate Cake with Chocolate fudge frosting and whipped cream filling

1 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups boiling water
2 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter
2 1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

In a medium bowl, combine cocoa with boiling water, mixing with a wire whisk until smooth,   cool completely. Soft four with soda and baking powder. Preheat oven 350. Grease well and lightly flour three 9 1/2 inch layer-cake pans.
In large bowl with electric mixer at high speed, beat butter, sugar. eggs and vanilla until light, about 5 minutes. At low speed, beat in flour mixture in fourths) alternating with cocoa mixture(in thirds) beginning and ending with flour mixture. do not over beat. Divide evenly into pans, smooth top. Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until surface springs back when pressed gently with fingertips. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Carefully loosen sides with spatula, remove from pans: cool on rack.

Whipped Cream filling: Whip one cup of chilled heavy cream with 1/4 cup powdered sugar and one teaspoon vanilla. Refrigerate until use.

To assemble cake  on cake stand place a layer, top side down. Then spread half of cream filling. Place a second layer , top side down and spread rest of cream. Place third layer top side up. Some times I slice strawberries and put a layer of strawberries then the whipped cream and continue layering the cake. Or you can brush the cake with a good preserve and then add the whipped cream. And for the adult version you can brush the cake with a rum or liqueur. With spatula, frost side first, covering whipped cream. Use rest of the frosting on top. Refrigerate at least one hour.

This chocolate cake is just so good that you can combine with any frosting and filling that you choice.

OK, OK I can hear what your thinking these cakes take a lot of time and work!! Plus they make many dirty pans, beaters, bowls etc. This is true but worth the effort and work.  But!!!!  I am going to share with you a wonderfully easy cake that starts with a box cake mix, yes I said a box cake mix and it's a delicious , decadent cake when you get done. I found this cake years ago in Southern Living Magazine. Over the years Southern living is one of my favorite sources for recipes. So if you a little bakeaphobic, try this cake first and then move up to a more challenging cake once your comfort level is higher.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Mousse Cake

***  I have added a step to making this cake and suggestions for making this cake!  After you make the peanut butter mousse filling  I found even after it is cooled for 25 minutes it oozes out of the cake when you put the layers together. I make the filling first and chill for 1 to 2 hours. The filling will be thick so work in batches to spread over cake layer making sure to gently spread over the entire cake layer but not over the sides of the cake. You will have a high layer of filling. In the recipe it says pour glace over cake. Don't just pour, you'll end up with the glaze dripping down the cake and ending on the plate. Just take some time and spread the glaze over the cake, top and sides. Also I usually chill this cake and then serve.  Make these few changes and this cake is a comes out perfect and tastes wonderful.
That's what I mean about recipes missing steps. The first time I make this cake as soon as I put the second cake layer on top, the filling ran out.(I was forced to each much of the mousse filling that landed on the cake dish)  I was so disappointed but my family said they loved the taste of cake. I thought about it an realized  that when you make any mousse you need to chill so it becomes firmer and that's what I did. And now I have a wonderful, easy cake to make for my family or company.
I could go on and on about wonderful chocolate cake recipes and I still have a few more that I will share later. I think I gained some weight just writing about these cakes but they are so good!!

Enjoy!

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